Elderly and vulnerable at risk in hostile system

One reader’s experience of supporting her mother has left her wondering what others do when they have no one to help them. Photograph: Maskot/Getty Images/Maskot

My 93-year-old mother recently moved into new accommodation. She was sent a council tax bill which she was unable to pay because the website didn’t recognise her reference number. Phone calls to the council referred her to the website. She was stuck in an endless loop, and it was also impossible to query the amount, which was subsequently shown to be wrong. She was issued with a court summons, then sent letters from a debt collection service that were frighteningly intimidating. Interest was added to the (incorrect) bill which grew rapidly (Debt collectors’ letters ‘sending vulnerable to the brink of suicide’, , 4 December). My husband and I dealt with all of this for her. My heart breaks for all those elderly and vulnerable who have no one to help them. The bottom line is that the UK is a hostile environment for many, and it shouldn’t be.
Neena Modi

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